Why Building a Moose Mountain Log Home is the best environmental decision
you can make!
Environmental decisions. In today's world, you probably won't find a news day without something relating to greenhouse gas emissions, carbon footprint or global warming, but if you are considering building a home, there is something you can do that could have one of the biggest positive impacts you personally can make with one individual decision. On an initial impression, one might think building a log home would not be a good decision for the environment because it relies on cutting down trees, however, there is a lot more to consider than that casual first impression.
1) Carbon footprint. Building a handcrafted log home generates one of the lowest possible, if not the lowest carbon manufacturing footprints of any form of modern housing. The majority of all the manufacturing (handcrafting) in the log portion of a Moose Mountain log home is done with the skill and physical efforts of our craftsmen instead of mechanized, automated, carbon producing processes. Yes, power tools are still used, but these are almost entirely small hand held tools carving a totally natural product into an exceptional home.
2) Removing Carbon from our Atmosphere. Unlike other log home companies, Moose Mountain Log Homes, with determination over the last three decades, has patiently developed exclusive access to the most impressive, largest and definitely the highest quality, premium old growth, Boreal forest building logs available anywhere! A boreal forest, especially the western Canadian boreal forest, is unlike a coastal or any other forest in that it has evolved around a fire cycle naturally caused by lightning. Without human interference the normal fire cycle would be between 60 and 100 years depending on localized conditions. But the pine trees Moose Mountain prefers to use tend to be between 140 and 180 years old, these trees that amount to less than 0.001 of a percent of today's forests which began growing after fires in the mid to late 1800s, basically twice as old as would be naturally found in our boreal forests if it werenít for manís intervention in putting out the natural fires. Most of our trees were seedlings around the birth of the confederation of Canada! Using trees this old means that they are reaching the maximum of their healthy long lifespan where they are slowing down on their growth, they are still at their prime but gradually will become more sceptical to disease and insect attack. They have taken out of the environment almost all of the carbon they possibly can and have used that carbon along with sunlight, water and local nutrients to build their massive trunks which are approximately 50% pure carbon, averaging well over one ton of carbon per tree in the size of boreal forest pine trees only Moose Mountain has a first priority access to, but when a natural wild fire destroys the forest most of that carbon could be released back into the atmosphere almost instantly or over just a few years by releasing the carbon through the decomposition of what does not burn initially.
3) Reducing Carbon plus Storage and Sustainability. In conventional housing, by comparison to a Moose Mountain handcrafted log home, a lot of carbon emissions are generated to manufacture that housing, and every time you build a new conventional house you produce another whole new level of carbon emissions relating mainly to all the products that are not close to, or are not of a natural origin. Today, with our conventional housing, the life expectancy of an average home is less than fifty years. At first thought most people would argue that conventional frame homes built today should last longer than that and while that may be true what the average person is not considering is that the value of the land the home was built on, approximately 40 to 50 years later, would be greater without the home on it, than with the home on it. This tends to result largely from outdated design appearances and the long term quality of the materials used. By definition many people would consider this to be planned obsolescence or simply disposable housing. A Moose Mountain handcrafted log home is entirely different; it is a unique form of housing that is the result of historically proven, craftsman employed, specialized patented techniques and a timeless natural appearance that have created a cherished work of art that happens to be a family's home and legacy. It doesn't follow the latest design trend that within a decade looses almost all appeal to the next latest fad to come along. How often have you driven through suburbs and thought to yourself, oh those homes are from the sixties, nineties or whatever, that is because the design cues, colour choices and materials used solidly date those homes in just a few years. I have often challenged people in guessing the age of some of the homes we have built around 30 years earlier and have always been told they never show their age. In fact the oldest log buildings still in continuous use are believed to be well over 800 hundred perhaps even 1000 years old and they still don't show their age! (In Sweden some of the oldest notched corner log buildings still in use there are precisely dated from the years 1220, 1237 and 1285 AD and were all built out of pine. See: Sweden's oldest log home a condensed version from these sources: http://www.hhogman.se/loghouses.htm & http://www.thelocal.se/20090526/19678. There are hundreds of other log structures all over northern and eastern Europe still awaiting accurate dating). The odds are definitely in favour of surpassing those milestones with our modern handcrafted log homes because we know the leading factors that allowed that longevity to happen and those factors can be improved upon and can easily be designed into your log home that you build with us. Those historic structures were built out of a closely related pine species to what Moose Mountain prefers to use. So not only can our homes reduce the number of times a new conventional home is built and all the resulting carbon emissions they produce, but a Moose Mountain log home also has become a carbon sequestration, a vault if you will, for quite possibly 800 years or more, in which many tons of carbon will have been stored in the log walls. Something else to consider is that any Moose Mountain log home that simply passes approximately one hundred years of service is likely to become a candidate for a cultural or historic building designation, which would additionally ensure the preservation of the structure indefinitely.
However, there is another equally important point, sustainability, in the time this home has been storing those many tons of carbon in the walls, possibly 5 new forests were planted and reached maximum maturity, which would then hopefully be harvested and not burned in a forest fire and while those new forests are growing they also will be absorbing many more tons of carbon from our environment. So the potential is very great that 8 to 13 times the amount of carbon will be removed from our atmosphere by building a single Moose Mountain Log Home than if nature were left to function on its own with normal fire cycles and possibly five times the number of trees grew to maximum maturity on the same land, than those that were harvested to create that original timeless Moose Mountain Log Home. The fact is when you choose to build with Moose Mountain Log Homes, the construction processes reduces carbon emissions below other forms of construction, while storing and removing many more tons of carbon than it takes to craft what makes a Moose Mountain Log Home so unique. Now if at those average 160 year cycles that it takes to grow a Moose Mountain Log Home calibre of forest, each time a new log home gets built from that replanted forest the entire process becomes exponentially more than 100% sustainable in addition to the amount of carbon absorbed out of our atmosphere along with the reduction in the amount of carbon emitted plus 50 times the amount of carbon captured for centuries that would not otherwise occur naturally! Not only that, should there ever come a time when there is actually an end of the log home's service life, the logs will be reusable or recyclable further extending the carbon storage time frame and increasing the sustainability. Then if that were not enough, indications are from 16 to 20 conventional homes or more were not required to be built during the reasonably predictable service life of a Moose Mountain Log Home and now you know why we can be so very serious when we say there is no better, sustainable, environmental decision you can make for your housing needs than building with Moose Mountain Log Homes!
4) No Chemical Off-Gassing or Mould Problems. Not only does building a Moose Mountain handcrafted log home help the global environment it also is the best for your personal environment. With a product so naturally crafted out of a forest, considered to be the purifying lungs of the earth, the logs in your log home will not produce any unhealthy chemical off gassing. It will never have any issues with creating a mouldy indoor environment as it naturally absorbs excess humidity from one area and exhausts that humidity to another area that has a lower air humidity. In almost 40 years of building log homes not one of our home owners has ever had a problem with the type of mould incubating, excess humidity like you find in modern fully plastic sealed homes. In fact, the owners of our large and very tightly sealed Moose Mountain Log Home's logs, normally want to add indoor humidity not remove it.
5) Energy Efficiency and Storage. The larger logs that most home owners today wish for, those that Moose Mountain Log Home prefers to use, have a lot of mass and mass can and does store energy (temperature). If you have ever researched alternative solar energy for heating (solar thermal or passive solar) you likely have noticed that the most solar energy is produced when you need it the least. When the sun is at its strongest you need to heat your home the least. However, like most people considering building a log home, if you live in a temperate climate with pronounced seasons more than 75% of the year the daytime sunís heat, if properly harnessed, would largely offset the amount of heat needed at night time. Building a conventional home hardly addresses this fact; it only addresses trying to prevent heat from moving in or out of your home. While that is very important on its own, if you want to take full advantage of natural solar heating in any form you need to store the sunís energy in the mass of your home for use later when you do need it. In low mass conventional housing that equates to the green house effect of overheating your home during the daytime to equal the loss overnight. In addition to the great insulation values of those massive log walls that are the basis of a Moose Mountain Log Home, the mass works towards maintaining a midpoint temperature by absorbing that excess heat during the daytime, with much less change in room temperature and stores that heat until it is needed to be released; when the outside temperature drops. To reduce the need for air conditioning in the heat of summer, ventilating your log home during the night with cool air usually allows just enough cooling of the mass to help maintain the mid point between day and night time temperatures. A Moose Mountain Log Home is naturally cool in the daytime or summer and cozy warm at night or in colder weather. The combined energy efficiency of insulation value and energy storage of massive logs not only minimizes your heating and cooling bill today but additionally your home's exceptional long term life cycle reduces the energy usage from the need to continuously rebuild new "disposable" homes in the centuries that will follow. We don't think its possible there is another building material that has a lower total energy usage or carbon producing footprint!
Conclusion. If you want the healthiest of indoor environments you need to build with the most naturally pure, environmentally friendly materials such as the logs used in a Moose Mountain Log Home.
If you want to build the most energy efficient and or net zero home you will need to store energy, meaning you want to have plenty of mass such as a Moose Mountain Log Home to do that along with the impressive insulation values of our massive logs, providing the life long benefits of reduced costs and carbon emissions from the heating and cooling of your home, in addition to the long term lifecycle energy savings.
If it is important to you to build a home that greatly exceeds 100% sustainability in all that is log, is the most environmentally friendly possible by being the healthiest form of housing for the future of our planet by naturally isolating through reducing the production of carbon emissions and by removing and storing carbon away from our atmosphere for predictably many centuries plus being the healthiest for your own personal future, then there is absolutely no better choice than deciding to build a long term super energy efficient Moose Mountain Log Home!
But the main reason most people want to live in a Moose Mountain Log Home will always be because of its timeless beauty and craftsmanship along with comfort and lasting value that you simply can not find in conventional housing!
Building a Super Energy Efficient Log Home